A small question nibbles at the edge of my mind. I turn my back on it and refocus on the book I’m reading. It pushes forward and gnaws more persistently. I swat at it and again force my attention to return to my book.
Suddenly my throat constricts, my breath feels tight and unsatisfying, my insides churn. The question has become a statement, bold and condemning, arising so quickly I didn’t have a chance to do battle. The attack comes in wave after wave, each higher, wider, and darker than its predecessor, and I shrink, confused and overwhelmed.
Then, a small, soft paw lands on my left shoulder. It is closely followed by three other paws and a loud purring aimed right into my ear. Silver—she has taken up her favorite perch, and I adjust my position to accommodate her moderate weight. Her relentless purring drives off the confusion and her velvet touch on my cheek causes me to smile and relaxes much of my muscle tension.
As I feel a soft nose nuzzling my ear, I realize it is March 2009. Those waves are in the past, and my life is now filled with love—from my pets, from the wonderful people in my life, and from God who has brought me to today.